Posted by Nick Stone (188.8.131.52) on December 09, 2002 at 04:10:21:
At the risk of opening another can of worms, I thought I would just make another comment on mankind's indifference to the suffering of the global 'unseen', that is to say, those people who do not feature in our history books, or on the news.
I remember mentioning something Bin Laden had said about the suffering of others, whilst the attacks on the WTC had global coverage. While doubtless in part to the spectacular nature of the event, that it had happened to a Western nation, and the most powerful one at that, is certainly part of the reason.
I'd like to draw the reader's attention, however, to the following comments of 'Abdu'l-Baha made in Paris Talks. When 'Abdu'l-Baha says 'twenty people', you could substitute those words for 'the three thousand people who died on September 11 in the terrorist attacks'. When 'Abdu'l-Baha says 'thousands of Italians, Turks, and Arabs', you could substitute those words for 'hundreds of thousands' and then insert people from many different countries who are suffering from manifold afflictions, be it hunger, disease, poverty, or even simply illiteracy, or oppression. Or even, spiritual hunger.
I believe the point I made before which drew few comments other than criticism, is amply vindicated.
THE CRUEL INDIFFERENCE OF PEOPLE TOWARDS THE SUFFERING OF FOREIGN RACES
I have just been told that there has been a terrible accident in this country. A train has fallen into the river and at least twenty people have been killed. This is going to be a matter for discussion in the French Parliament today, and the Director of the State Railway will be called upon to speak. He will be cross-examined as to the condition of the railroad and as to what caused the accident, and there will be a heated argument. I am filled with wonder and surprise to notice what interest and excitement has been aroused throughout the whole country on account of the death of twenty people, while they remain cold and indifferent to the fact that thousands of Italians, Turks, and Arabs are killed in Tripoli! The horror of this wholesale slaughter has not disturbed the Government at all! Yet these unfortunate people are human beings too.
Why is there so much interest and eager sympathy shown towards these twenty individuals, while for five thousand persons there is none? They are all men, they all belong to the family of mankind, but they are of other lands and races. It is no concern of the disinterested countries if these men are cut to pieces, this wholesale slaughter does not affect them! How unjust, how cruel is this, how utterly devoid of any good and true feeling! The people of these other lands have children and wives, mothers, daughters, and little sons! In these countries today there is hardly a house free from the sound of bitter weeping, scarcely can one find a home untouched by the cruel hand of war.
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